So many kinds of losing

It seems that grief takes many forms.

There is a wild pain that wakes you up in the night gasping for breath, a panic that makes your heart skip a beat. There are dreams that leave you weeping into your pillow. There can be screaming, anger and striking and tearing. It is the grief for the untimely, for ones who shouldn't have left the earth so quickly. I've never felt this kind of grief, but I've seen it and I've cried along with those who wake up in those nights with the darkness sitting heavy on them.

There is grief that has you lying in your bed, curled in a ball. Your tears leak into your pillow, you don't want to eat. Food seems pointless. You don't know what to do with the days that stretch on ahead, but you know that you need to be brave, sometime, somewhere. Soon. But now you will just curl up into yourself and cry into the softness. You miss your dear brother, or your husband. You weren't ready to let him go. I haven't been there, either.

And then there is grief that takes you gently. It is the longing for someone who will never be there again, but who led a long and full life, who had many days, many memories. It is a sharp pang when you look in the mirror and see your curly, curly hair- the hair that didn't come from nowhere, the annoying ringlets that you inherited. It is when you remember your special nickname, the one that your grandma used for you; "Pet Lamb." It is when you think, "Oh please can she come back? Just so I can hug her and smell her one more time? So I can hear her singing while she washed the dishes? So I can write down her stories?"

It is when you stop in your tracks on the way to walking somewhere, stop dead midway, stand staring off. You wait for your heart to feel okay again and then keep going the way you were, toward your kids who are waiting for you. This is the kind that is mine.